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  1. #1
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    Dual boot long-term effects

    Are there any long-term effects to creating a dual-boot Win 7 and Win 8 setup?

    I have a problem with a computer that had been given the dual-boot treatment as an experiment, and everything worked exactly as predicted. I then deleted the Win 8 side to return to Win 7 only, which seemed to work properly, and if anything went wrong at the time, it went unnoticed.

    Because I have a problem now, for which yet another solution was published yesterday which proved futile (Windows has no integrity violations), I remembered that the machine had been dual boot, and, to the best of my recollection, one change that does take place that would not have been corrected by deleting the Win 8 partition is that the boot record, hidden from view, was changed to Win 8. If programs look at that boot record they are going to see ‘Windows 8’, even though everything Windows 8 except the boot is long gone. Could that be a source of trouble?

  2. #2
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    There is no long term downside of having dual boot.
    If you want to remove one of the dual boot systems you should have a repair CD/USB available in case you need to re-build the boot information.
    In your case, having removed W8 you have no trouble booting to W7 so all is and will remain, well. Other programs don't care what the boot record is called.

    As always, make an image backup of your system before and after making major changes.

    cheers, Paul

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    Start a thread in the Win7 forum about the specific issue you have.
    Joe

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    One runs in a secure boot environment and the other knows not how?

  6. #5
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    In a dual boot environment, the system restore points of the current OS are wiped out every time you boot into the alternate OS.

  7. #6
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    In a dual boot environment, the system restore points of the current OS are wiped out every time you boot into the alternate OS.
    Jerry,

    Not necessarily so! If you have the two OSes loaded on separate drives you can set the registry to HIDE the non-booted drive and this will prevent the erasure of the restore points on the non-booted drive.

    When Booted to the E: drive (Win 7 HP) I set the registry value:

    Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\Offline
    Create a new DWord entry with:
    Name: \DosDevices\C:
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    To hide my Win 10 OS.

    When booted to the C: drive (Win 10 Home) I set the registry value:

    Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\Offline
    Create a new DWord entry with:
    Name: \DosDevices\E:
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    Note: when you use this technique the non-booted OS drive is completely inaccessible to windows!

    FYI: I just re-tested this on my dual boot laptop to make sure it still works in Win 10 and it does.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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  8. #7
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Thanks for the registry hack RG. If I understand you right, this makes the alternate drive OS invisible to the the current OS. Since I sometimes want to access data there, this doesn't work for me. I don't want to mess with this every time I do an alternate boot.

    Losing System Restore points is only a minor irritation for me, so I think I'll just put up with it for now. I do regular image backups so System Restore isn't a requirement, just a shortcut in some cases.

    Jerry

    Jerry

  9. #8
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Jerry,

    That's why I have my data on a 3rd partition that is accessible to both boot setups and is always labeled G:. One of several reasons that I always set machines up with the Data on a separate partition or drive.

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    I do the same, RG, I also hide the unused operating system partition using Drive Management to remove the drive letter from it. Probably doing the same job as the reg mod in post #6.

    Alex

  11. #10
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Jerry,

    That's why I have my data on a 3rd partition that is accessible to both boot setups and is always labeled G:. One of several reasons that I always set machines up with the Data on a separate partition or drive.

    HTH
    I do have a third partition that I keep my outlook pst, quicken, pictures,documents, and music files on but I still occasionally need to access files on the alternate OS drive. Hiding it is a non starter for me.

    Jerry

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I'm considering implementing a dual-boot setup, similar to RG's, but with the switching done by hardware rather than by software. I'll have two separate but identical hard drives, with each drive containing one of the OSs. I'll then have a power switch on the front panel of the computer for powering on/off each hard drive. When I want to boot to the other OS, I'll shut the computer down, switch drives via my power switch, then power the computer back on.

    Something like this.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2016-05-13 at 13:05.

  13. #12
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    Since a choice has to be made before turning the computer on, I used to have a Mobile Rack in a computer with a couple extra cassettes holding different PATA HDDs. Using CS/Cable Select jumper setting any HDD I inserted could be the bootable drive depending upon which OS I had installed.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ack&Submit=ENE
    I also used the Mobile Rack to attach client's HDDs to retrieve data.

  14. #13
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Jerry,

    Not necessarily so! If you have the two OSes loaded on separate drives you can set the registry to HIDE the non-booted drive and this will prevent the erasure of the restore points on the non-booted drive.

    When Booted to the E: drive (Win 7 HP) I set the registry value:

    Key: HKLM\SYSTEM\MountedDevices\Offline
    Create a new DWord entry with:
    Name: \DosDevices\C:
    Type: REG_DWORD
    Value: 1

    HTH
    I usually do a Firmware centered dual boot these days ( not pleased w/ the result w/ WX ) but I was thinking a boot manager dual would usually boot each O/S w/ a C: drive as it's System drive, what am I missing here??
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  15. #14
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    David,

    Ok, let me explain this a little more clearly (I hope).

    Windows at boot will see your drives in a certian order:
    LTW10DiskMgmt.JPG

    In my case here the Windows 10 install is seen as C: and the Windows 7 install is seen as E:

    Which means that in the Registry for the Windows 10 install I have to hide the E: drive and in the Windows 7 install I have to hide the C: drive both per the Regedit codes shown above.

    So when I boot to Windows 10 File Explorer will show:
    LTBooted toW10.JPG

    If I try to Open the E: drive I get this:
    DBErrorMsgNonActiveDrive.JPG

    When I boot to the Windows 7 install I get this:
    LTBooted to Office 2003.JPG

    You'll notice that even though I've hidden the "C drive" in the Windows 7 install it still shows the OS drive as being C:! Note the partition label which I use to clarify which partition is which OS. The OS labels are a hold over from when this machine had 2 Win 7 installs one with Office 2010 and one with Office 2003 (I really need to change that!).

    As you can see below Windows does a little switcheroo with the drive letters when booted on the Windows 7 side, compare with the graphic above!
    LTWin7DiskMgmt.JPG

    I hope the above makes things a little clearer, if not post back with your questions.

    BTW: I use EasyBCD as my Boot Manager and iReboot to quickly switch between OSes w/o having to worry about selecting the OS when the machine reboots.

    HTH
    Last edited by RetiredGeek; 2016-05-22 at 14:41.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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